American Buffalo

  • Date:
    November 1, 2008

    What the press had to say.....

    "Robert Falls�s deflated revival of Mr. Mamet�s �American Buffalo� evokes the woeful image of a souped-up sports car�s flat tire, built for speed but going nowhere." & "It�s when Mr. Leguizamo�s Teach makes his entrance into the densely cluttered junk shop run by Donny Dubrow (Cedric) that you realize that this �American Buffalo� is bound to sag." & "This Teach is a sodden squib from the get-go. As Mr. Leguizamo plays him, he�s an uncertain, unsteady figure, spouting his macho, know-it-all talk without even the illusion of self-belief."
    Ben Brantley
    New York Times

    "Despite a starry cast of John Leguizamo, Haley Joel Osment and Cedric the Entertainer, who's miscast, the tepid two-hour two-act, directed by Robert Falls, makes the story seem very slight, with all the danger and combustibility of a book of soggy matches."
    Joe Dziemianowicz
    New York Daily News

    ""American Buffalo" has all the profanity and none of the poetry. As directed by the usually estimable Robert Falls, with John Leguizamo, Cedric the Entertainer and Haley Joel Osment, it's flatter than a cow plop."
    Barbara Hoffman
    New York Post

    "The play is skillfully directed by Robert Falls, who has choreographed some arresting movements and imposed fascinating changes in tempo and dynamics." & "It spells blather of the peculiarly Mametian brand, in which obscenity and scatology sprout like mushrooms in damp, shady ground. Cut out the foulmouthed verbiage and the play would be appreciably shorter but hardly better. It might even lose what specious colorfulness it has.
    John Simon

    "This isn't the most titillating American Buffalo you'll ever see, but I doubt that many productions have made the thwarted humanity of these men more accessible or moving."
    Elysa Gardner
    USA Today

    "Director Robert Falls provides a solid, straightforward framework for Mamet's deceptively simple story. Unfortunately, his actors are not as perfectly balanced as the material." & "There are plenty of laughs at the excessively foul language and the gang's goof-ups, but how much richer this American Buffalo would have been had two-thirds of the cast concentrated on connections rather than comedy."
    David Sheward
    Back Stage

    "Under the direction of Robert Falls, the play is more balanced, funnier and more humane than the Broadway revival of 25 years ago. Al Pacino, who played Teach, gave that production more intensity, and a greater sense of danger. While less menacing, Leguizamo is very effective in his own style. Bouncing around the stage with his typical energy, he gives the character an irrepressible, often amusing edginess. "
    Robert Feldberg
    The Record

    "Though Falls' credentials are unquestionably unimpeachable, and Mamet is of course Chicago's most famous playwright, one might ask of this production: Are we still in Chicago? Leguizamo's brand of fast-talking Hispanic humor seems to be patented in New York, and his Teach does not strike one as Windy City-bred, despite his slight effort to duplicate the Chicago accent...For all the effort, what Falls doesn't quite pull off is the creation of a true acting ensemble, for what should be a fine-tuned acting trio. The casting approaches a stunt, and the stunt doesn't quite work."
    Jacques le Sourd
    Journal News

    "The four-letter words are intact but just about everything else is amiss in the slack, unsatisfying Broadway revival."
    Michael Kuchwara
    Associated Press

    "This starry revival sits so flatly on its impressive set. Or maybe it's the lack of a connective thread among its performers. Either way, something isn't working." & "Robert Falls' production drains much of the humor, urgency and anxiety from the piece, letting it amble along like an inflated actors' exercise in sustaining atmosphere without action." & "With all the current talk about the failure of the free-market economy, the subtext of Mamet's sly take on commerce should sizzle. Instead, it gets lost in what ends up being simply a character study."
    David Rooney